Camp Guidelines for Middle School Kids with LD & ADHD
By Marcia B. Rubinstien, MA, CEP
Learning and development vary with age, so do your homework before sending your middle-school child with learning differences off to summer camp. Use the guidelines outlined in Summer Camp Guidelines for Kids with LD and ADHD to help find a program that sustains your child’s interests, fits her personality, promotes her strengths, and supports her weaknesses. But take care also to evaluate programs for age-specific concerns.
Middle-school campers present a wider range of development than any other age group. Some are barely pre-pubescent; others are in the throes of emerging maturity; and many are somewhere in between. You’d do well to look for a camp environment that is sensitive to development that runs the gamut physically, emotionally, intellectually, and behaviorally.
Choose a camp that has opportunities for your preteen to excel in at least one area that other kids can respect. Drama camp may not be the best choice for a child who has trouble reading and memorizing, while an extreme sports camp will frustrate a youngster who is cautious and klutzy.
Define what your child considers “cool” and make sure he can identify that elusive characteristic in some of the options you offer.
Be sure to get information about camp policies and experience dealing with the following issues that often arise among middle schoolers:
- Peer pressure
- Varied physical, emotional, and cognitive development
- Competition and social skills